Apparently insomnia is a “massive public health problem” here in the UK: the demands of our employment, our education, our families and loads of other stuff is all conspiring to wear us down into a state of perpetual exhaustion. (It’s not often I find myself in step with the rest of the country, but this is one of those rare incidences; I can’t remember when I last found it easy to get to sleep at night and get up of a morning, but I suspect it was in my early teens.)
Thankfully, the medical world has determined that (quelle surprise!) hypnotics and other highly addictive sleep-inducing medications aren’t the answer. The less positive news is that cognitive behavioural therapies and new types of drug designed to target the brain’s internal 24-hour clock (which are almost certain to have no addiction schedule or side effects, AMIRITEZ?) are the proposed solutions; as is traditional, we’re trying to cure the symptoms rather than going after the root cause of the problem, namely a ridiculously stressful social structure.
Still, why fix your society when drugs and brainwashing can get everyone back in the saddle with a rictius grin for jobs that may not exist in six months’ time, eh?
Think your schedule is crazy? Spare a thought for the 150 Phoenix Mars lander scientists:
“Living on a Martian day is like traveling two time zones every three days over and over,” said [Laura] Barger, who is an instructor of medicine in Harvard’s Division of Sleep Medicine. “Everyone has a circadian clock. . . . When it isn’t able to synchronize with a Martian day, you get sleep disorders, decreased alertness and decremented performance.”
NASA is experimenting with soft-light boxes and an adjusted sleep schedule to help the Mars explorers stay alert. And it’s funding the two-year, $350,000 Harvard study in the hopes that results might help doctors, police, firefighers, and other earthlings who work skewed shifts.
[Mars image: jasonb42882]
“Better Sweets to Prove Than Sleep” by Lisa Mantchev is the story of a woman caught between men, between demands on her time, and between life as a microsleeper and the pressures of a comatose society.
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Better Sweets To Prove Than Sleep
by Lisa Mantchev
Jenna retrieved four poems memorized in third grade, the capitols of the fifty-four states, and the molecular structure of hydrogen. She dumped them in the recycle bin, shuffled around her free memory and recategorized the Townsend project as High Priority.
Zach grunted above her but she couldn’t concentrate on little things like his sweating body and enthusiastic penetration with so much junk swirling around in her head.
Distracted by the look of gleeful concentration on his face, Jenna lost her grasp on the sorting process and slipped into microsleep. Finalization of the new changes. Rapid cell repair and regeneration on the soles of her naked feet. QuickDreams of Cinderella at the masquerade, frolicking in fountains and surrounded by pink and gold fireworks. Then she jerked awake to the panicked repetition of her name accompanied by gentle slaps to her face. Continue reading BETTER SWEETS TO PROVE THAN SLEEP by Lisa Mantchev